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The Downward Spiral (Deluxe Edition)

Nine Inch Nails

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Album Review

Universal's Chronicles reissues division has stuck with memorable albums of at least 20, and more often 30 years' vintage for its "Deluxe Edition" series of two-disc expansions, with titles like Marvin Gaye's What's Going On and Bob Marley's Legend the rule. So, looking back a mere ten years to Nine Inch Nails' multi-platinum industrial landmark The Downward Spiral is a surprise. For added attraction, the original album has been remastered to SACD and remixed for 5.1 Surround Sound. Given that this is a relatively recent work, the sound improvement is not as drastic as it has been for older albums, but the effect of the reworkings is, as usual, to open up the sound, providing greater clarity and separation. This might not necessarily be a good thing in the industrial metal style, which depends for its effect on a dense, sometimes distorted sound, but it works well for The Downward Spiral because of all those sudden edits that take the music from a loud, noisy sound picture down to a solo vocal or acoustic guitar; those juxtapositions are emphasized even more here and are, if possible, even more startling than they were originally. A part of the deluxe treatment usually involves a lengthy CD booklet with extensive liner notes, but this reissue disappoints in that regard, providing song lyrics and not much else. In fact, little information is provided about the disc of extras, so it is left to the reviewer to reveal that "Burn" comes from the soundtrack to Natural Born Killers; "Closer (Precursor)," "Closer to God," and "Memorabilia" from the Closer to God maxi-single; "Piggy (Nothing Can Stop Me Now)," "Hurt (Quiet)," and "The Downward Spiral (The Bottom)" from the Further Down the Spiral remix EP; the cover of Soft Cell's "Memorabilia" from the March of the Pigs maxi-single; and the cover of Joy Division's "Dead Souls" from the soundtrack to The Crow. The final three tracks are previously unreleased demos of the album tracks "Ruiner," "Reptile," and "Heresy." The alternate versions often provide insight into the development of the material, and may even be preferable to the final versions for some listeners. In particular, "Hurt (Quiet)" anticipates Johnny Cash's cover of "Hurt" and is at least as effective as the master take.

Customer Reviews

Well Worth the Bucks

Derived from the original Downward Spiral the Deluxe Edition adds a value far surpassing other re-worked or expanded albums I've seem. The digital re-mastering of this album greatly benefits those with surround sound and higher-end speakers, treating the listener to a wide variety of sounds (noise, effects, samples etc...) that weren't as distinct in the original released CD. The addition of soundtrack extractions and other NIN hits from the mid-90s can be appreciated by any fan.

One of the greatest albums ever....

Although I hate to say this, you really don't want to buy this from iTunes Music Store. Go to the store and buy the physical version of this album (the deluxe edition). You'll receive the album on DVD mastered in high resolution surround sound. Throw this in your DVD player playing to a decent sound system, sit in the middle if your speakers and close your eyes: you'll truly realize what heaven is.

No need to Question....

This album is pure genius. That's it.

Biography

Formed: 1989 in Cleveland, OH

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Nine Inch Nails were the most popular industrial group ever and were largely responsible for bringing the music to a mass audience. It isn't really accurate to call NIN a group; the only official member is singer/producer/multi-instrumentalist Trent Reznor, who always remained solely responsible for NIN's musical direction (he was, however, supported in concert by a regular backing band). Unlike the vast majority of industrial artists, Reznor wrote melodic, traditionally structured songs where lyrics...
Full bio